Phil Nichol: Too Much
Monkey Barrel Comedy
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (5 stars)
Despite the docile (yet, mellow) audience, Nichol’s exceptional ability as a storyteller bestows the atmosphere with a pleasing humility that appeals to old and young; new and returning fans.
This intimate setting, at the Monkey Barrel, was the perfect location for his comedic repertoire. Picture this: You enter to see a cheerful Phil swaggering around the stage, with his guitar in hand and a greeting. You are in a safe place. The music is warm and fulfilling, and the discreet lighting allows you to drink in said music: a melodic osmosis.
But this osmosis extends beyond that of melody. Indeed, this give-and-take relationship between Nichol and his audience naturally develops during the show. Between his larger-than-life interactive anecdotes about strict religious upbringing, drugs, marathon running, taking the piss out of Scottish people, and prison, there is sage-old wisdom in this man. A humbling quality delivered between his highly-animated performance through his commentary about ageing and his obvious reverence for his elders.
The real meaning of his performance is realised at those moments of self-effacement. The fact is, growing older is a mixed bag of complexity. Complexity upon complexity, of growing insight, amid constant learning, and growing vulnerability. Too Much is happening with-in and with-out us, while we go through the motions of life. If for an hour, you can devote your time to learning from this man through laughter and tears, you will be rewarded. Phil Nichol has a heart of gold.
By Joshua Kaye